Organizations are becoming more collaborative, aligned, and agile; However, connections with external partners are often overlooked. Keeping information siloed between organizations that are working together is as harmful as keeping it siloed between departments internally. We’ve previously outlined some of the metrics associated with using email to manage your customers. Here are the other tools at your disposal for collaborating with your customers.
Vsimple: Vsimple is a platform built for manufacturers and distributors to better collaborate around orders and projects. It has strong messaging, document sharing, and order tracking features and external parties can be added to the system free of charge.
Monday: Monday.com is a great tool for personal or internal project tracking. Features include Gantt charts, timelines, and task lists. However, it can be difficult to setup access control and manage collaboratively across lots of different “Boards.” You also have to pay to invite external users into the system unless you are on a premium plan.
Dropbox: Dropbox is a cloud file sharing system which can be a great way to collaborate if you are working with others on a singular or very few documents. For example, if you are working with co-workers on a PowerPoint. It can become a difficult tool to collaborate with if you have numerous orders and projects that all have multiple documents because you would have to have very strong naming conventions and file folder structure to find anything. It also is difficult to tie to-do items, issue tracking, or other project details into the file structure.
Teams: Teams provides an easy avenue to be able to instant message internally. However, the conversation often is not tied to the relevant records that are being discussed (one minute you may be talking about critical project details and the next where you are going to get lunch today). Also, to bring any external stakeholders into the conversation they have to invest in the tool as well.
SFDC: Salesforce is a great CRM product but it’s community cloud offering for customer collaboration is limited to case management and FAQs which can make it difficult to collaborate around key records like projects or customer orders without a lot of custom development. Also, you have to foot the bill for each external user or login.